Tag Archives: USA Today

Trump continues to demonstrate unfitness for his office

Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!

What you see here is another demonstration from the president of the United States of his utter tone deafness.

It is a tweet from Donald John Trump Sr.

It also shows many millions of Americans — including yours truly — how totally unfit he is for the office he occupies.

He says Sen. Gillibrand “would do anything for them,” implying that she would do something of a sexual nature to obtain a campaign contribution from Trump.

This man has shown at every level imaginable an absolute lack of decency. An editorial in USA Today provides a profound and stark commentary on the president’s shameful demeanor. What I find remarkable about this editorial is that comes from a publication that does not possess a fiery, partisan editorial policy.

USA Today calls Trump “uniquely awful” and declares that he is not fit to “clean the toilets at Barack Obama’s presidential library or shine George W. Bush’s shoes.”

As the paper notes: “Not to mention calling white supremacists ‘very fine people,’ pardoning a lawless sheriff, firing a respected FBI director, and pushing the Justice Department to investigate his political foes.

Read the editorial here.

Yet, despite this serial demonstration of a lack of humanity and common decency, Trump’s supporters stand by their man. They applaud him for “telling it like it is.” They endorse his nativism and tribalism and call it “populism.”

Donald Trump is unfit to be president.

As USA Today’s editorial concludes: The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.

He should resign from the presidency.

Let us revisit ‘term limits’

The calls for mandating term limits for members of the U.S. House and Senate have become a bit muted in recent years.

That’s fine with me. I’ve never quite understood the notion of requiring public servants to step aside after a certain set time established through federal statute or constitutional amendment.

The issue keeps recurring every so often. It well might again in the 2018 midterm election that will decide every one of 435 U.S. House seats and one-third of the seats in the 100-member U.S. Senate.

I dug up a 2013 article in USA Today that noted that the 113th Congress was the most “inexperienced” in nearly two decades.

As USA Today noted about that Congress: A confluence of factors — from a trio of wave elections, redistricting, divisive primaries to even death — kick off a 113th Congress populated by junior lawmakers in both chambers that challenges the conventional wisdom that Washington politics is dominated by entrenched incumbents.

Nearly two in five lawmakers in the U.S. House, 39%, have served for less than three years, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Cook Political Report. It’s the least experienced House since at least 1995, when an election wave swept the Republicans into power.

Read the rest of the USA Today article here.

That was just four years ago. The turnover on Capitol Hill has continued at about the same pace.

It brings to mind the Congress that took office in 1995. The election the previous year had swept out dozens of incumbents as the Republican insurgents took control of both legislative houses for the first time in 40 years. One of the upstart freshmen that year was a young self-described “recovering lawyer” named Mac Thornberry, who became the Texas Panhandle’s representative.

Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican, is still in the House. He campaigned as a champion of the Contract With America, the GOP platform that pledged a lot of radical changes. One of them was mandated term limits. Thornberry never imposed any such limit on himself; he has voted in favor of every failed attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to require term limits for members of Congress.

Frankly, I’ve never faulted him for remaining in Congress all this time … even though I detest his general governing philosophy.

Indeed, any member of Congress who does a lousy job or who doesn’t represent his constituents’ interests will hear from them on Election Day. The voters have the power to impose their own brand of term limits on their elected representatives.

Moreover, is inexperience a good thing when it comes to running the federal government? Hmm. Let me think about that.

Oh, yeah. We’ve got a political novice in the White House at this very moment. The president took office after spending his entire professional life seeking to fatten his financial portfolio. He had zero public service experience before taking office. He is learning a hard lesson that governing isn’t nearly the same as running a business empire.

I believe, therefore, that government experience is vital.

The upcoming midterm election is going to turn on a lot of factors. Term limits might return as a top-drawer political issue. Fine. Let’s have that debate. I likely won’t budge from my long-held belief that we already have term limits. We call them “elections.”

***

Here’s what I wrote five years ago about this very issue:

Term limits? We already have them

 

What does Kim Jong Un want? Part 5

This concludes my brief examination of the five demands that Kim Jong Un  has made on a world seeking to lessen tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

USA Today has listed five of them. Kim wants the United Nations to lift the sanctions it has imposed on North Korea. Good luck with that one, Mr. Dictator/Goofball.

The only way the sanctions could go away would be if Kim agrees with U.N. and U.S. demands that he cease making nuclear weapons and cease testing the missiles he hopes would deliver them.

Kim has brought a lot of misery to his people by spending so much of his nation’s Gross Domestic Product on militarization. North Korea is bristling with artillery pieces, tanks, fighter jets — but its people are starving. The sanctions imposed by the U.N. ban the export of coal, iron ore, lead and lead ore, depriving the nation of about $1 billion annually.

There needs to be concessions by North Korea for the sanctions to be lightened, or eliminated.

All of this circles back, in my view, to the issue of “containment and deterrence.” If the United States and the rest of the world would accept the notion that Kim is going to keep his nukes and then rely on the threat of immense destruction that would be delivered to his country if he launches any kind of strike, then this crisis might be allowed to settle down.

I have little faith that anyone — whether inside the North Korean government hierarchy or anywhere else — will be able to talk sense to Kim.

Now, if we could just get the president of the United States to keep his trap shut and let the diplomats do their work.

That’s some good shootin’, eh?

There might be no greater example of the difference in battlefield strategy between our side and the Islamic State than a story I’ve just read.

A Canadian special forces soldier fired a high-powered rifle shot at an ISIS fighter and killed him — from a distance of two miles! The kill shot reportedly set some form of record for long-distance sniper fire.

The 3,450-meter shot took 10 seconds to hit its target after being fired from the weapon. The soldier was perched atop a high-rise structure when the incident occurred over the past 30 days.

Wow, man!

I love this quote from a Task Force 2 spokesman: “Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”

Therein lies the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. ISIS, al-Qaeda, Taliban and other terrorist organizations target civilians. They intend to inflict mass casualties on so-called “soft targets.” The approach taken by U.S. and allied forces in return is to seek to minimize such collateral damage.

In the case of this Canadian sniper, well, he did his job with extreme precision — not to mention extreme prejudice.

Read the USA Today story here.

According to the newspaper: “Canada has a world-class sniper system,” the source told the paper. “It is not just a sniper. They work in pairs. … This is a skill set that only a very few people have.”
They also have to account for wind speed and the increasing downward motion of the bullet as it loses speed over such a long distance.

Count me as one who is glad to know these guys are on our side in this fight.

There might be another Jimmy Carter out there

A recent poll commissioned by USA Today and Suffolk University delivered a dire warning for Democrats still stung by the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States.

The clear “frontrunner” for the 2020 presidential race is someone new. Anyone new. A fresh face.

A friend of mine wondered on social media who the Democrats could come up with. I didn’t answer him directly, but I’ll do so here: If we could come up with a name, it wouldn’t be a new face.

The political parties historically have fallen back to the tried and true practitioners of the politics. They tend to look for established figures.

Then again, we have one example of a new face rising up from out of nowhere. Jimmy Carter did that in 1976.

He was a former one-term governor of Georgia. He didn’t have a particularly noteworthy term as governor. Indeed, his views evolved over time. He had run for political office before as a segregationist. His term as governor featured a radical departure from his former view.

Carter would introduce himself at political parties by saying, “My name is Jimmy Carter and I’m running for president.” He strode to the podium at the 1976 Democratic National Convention and began his presidential nominating acceptance speech with that signature line.

Is there another Jimmy Carter out there? Hello?

Come out, come out … wherever you are.

Go with a brand new face, Democrats

A poll offers some clear instructions for Democrats interested in coming back from the shock of watching Donald J. Trump elected president of the United States.

Go with someone shiny and brand new to the national scene, Democrats.

No more Clintons should run for high office, namely the presidency.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/theres-a-clear-democratic-front-runner-for-2020/ar-BBxq70O?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

USA Today/Suffolk University has released a poll that says Democrats need someone new. It doesn’t specify an individual. Just go with someone new to the national scene.

If you think about it, Republicans might have had the right idea by going with someone “new” as their presidential nominee in 2016. Donald J. Trump wasn’t exactly new to the limelight. He’s been basking in it for 30-plus years.

He burst onto the political scene when he rode down that escalator at Trump Tower and then made his first presidential campaign promise: he’ll “build a wall” to keep those illegal immigrants from coming in.

Trump was a familiar entertainment face, but was new to politics.

He’s not so new to politics these days as he prepares to become president.

Democrats are facing a serious quandary as they ponder their choices for 2020 and, believe it, they are pondering them at this very moment.

One individual did fare pretty well in this poll of Democrats. It is Joe Biden, the current vice president who’ll be 78 years of age on Jan. 20, 2021 when we inaugurate someone after the 2020 election. Personally, I wanted Vice President Biden to run this time around. He didn’t go for it. I fear it’s too late for him next time.

Poll respondents apparently think so, too.

Democrats had better start beating the bushes for their next presidential nominee. The poll results suggest they need to find a fresh face.

I mean, if Hillary Rodham Clinton — a former U.S. first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state — can lose to someone as unqualified and unfit for the presidency as the guy who beat her, then it’s time to start with a clean slate.

Get busy, Democrats.

Here’s a profound non-endorsement

636107742502713528-gty-538708234

USA Today has done something I didn’t think I’d ever see in a major newspaper editorial page.

It published an editorial non-endorsement of one candidate for president while at the same time saying it could not endorse that candidate’s opponent.

I’ve read the editorial twice. I might read it again and again, looking for some nugget of justification for the USA Today editorial board’s rationale. Wish me luck.

Here is the editorial in question:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/29/dont-vote-for-donald-trump-editorial-board-editorials-debates/91295020/

In its 34-year existence, USA Today never had opined on a presidential campaign. Until now.

It has declared Republican nominee Donald J. Trump to be patently, profoundly unfit for the office of president of the United States. It lists its reasons for reaching that consensus among its editorial board members.

The paper is categorical in its declaration. It also is correct.

Then, near the end of it, the paper says it cannot endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, who the paper states has too many flaws of her own. Still, the paper states:

“Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president,”

OK, what now?

USA Today says it cannot recommend a vote for Clinton. It urges voters only to withhold their vote for Trump … for the myriad reasons it declares forcefully in its editorial.

No vote for Clinton? A “hell no” vote against Trump?

Does that mean Hillary Clinton can boast of an editorial endorsement from USA Today after all?

My head is spinning.

Immigrant tide is reversing itself

citizenship

The world remains focused on events in, say, Syria and Europe.

However, get a load of this item: More Mexican citizens returned to their home country over a five-year period than came into the United States.

The Pew Research Center said that from 2009 to 2014, more than 1 million Mexicans returned home while 870,000 of them came to the United States.

Does that change the debate in this country? Quite possibly.

Presidential candidates — particularly some of them on the Republican side — have made immigration a theme of the upcoming White House campaign.

I’m not at all sure what the trend suggests. Pew is a reliable research outfit, with findings that are well-documented. One theory being kicked around is that the Great Recession of 2008-09 in the United States removed an incentive for Mexican citizens to come to the United States in search of jobs.

The inflow of migrants could increase as the U.S. economy continues to improve, according to Mark Hugo Lopez, a Hispanic researcher for Pew. According to USA Today, “In coming years, he said, the number of Mexicans may increase again if the U.S. economy continues to improve. But steady growth of Mexico’s economy and tighter controls along the southwest border mean the United States won’t see another massive wave of legal and illegal immigration like it did in recent decades, when the number of Mexican-born immigrants ballooned from 3 million to nearly 13 million, he said.”

Lopez added that the era of Mexican migration might be at an end.

So, while our attention is diverted to places far away, we see some interesting trends right at our doorstep.

Don’t look for critics of U.S. immigration policy to proclaim this as good news. Indeed, if foreign nationals anywhere in the world can find prosperity at home, well, that reduces the strain on the Land of Opportunity.

I consider that to be good news.

 

Better take a hard look at border security, eh?

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez is accused of killing Kate Steinle in a horrific act of random violence.

It happened in San Francisco, a “sanctuary city.”

Lopez-Sanchez was in this country illegally. What’s worse — and a lot worse, at that — is that he’d been deported four times, sent back to Mexico. His fifth illegal re-entry resulted in Steinle’s shooting death.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/07/15/immigration-sanctuary-shooting-steinle-lopez-sanchez-editorials-debates/30100967/

This case has resonated on several levels, each of which is worthy of comment.

First, there must be some head-knocking occurring at Immigration and Naturalization Service, Border Patrol and Homeland Security offices. How in the world does someone keep getting into this country after getting caught and deported multiple times?

Second, it is time to re-examine this whole concept of “sanctuary city,” which is aimed at giving immigrants a way to avoid being captured by federal immigration authorities. As USA Today said in an editorial: “San Francisco is one of nearly 300 cities and counties across the country with sanctuary laws or policies aimed at separating federal immigration enforcement from local policing, in order to build trust between immigrant communities and local police. The reasoning goes like this: If immigrants, including millions of undocumented ones, see local police officers as a tool for deportation, they will not report crimes or come forward as witnesses, even when they are victims, and public safely will suffer.”

That reasoning did not work in this tragic case.

Third, President Barack Obama has been oddly silent about Steinle’s death. Why is that, Mr. President? Your critics make a valid point that you should be leading the nation in mourning the death of a young woman whose life was taken by someone who shouldn’t have been here in the first place.

Am I going to join the Donald Trump amen chorus in implying that most illegal immigrants are here to commit the kind of act that Lopez-Sanchez is accused of committing? Not on your life.

But the system failed us badly. A young woman’s family is grieving. A nation needs answers.

Why the attention to Tim Tebow?

Tim Tebow seems like a fine young man.

He put together a stellar career as a quarterback at the University of Florida. He won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate player. Then he became a pro and has, well, had a not-so-stellar career playing football for a living.

He’s tried out for various teams, been cut, come back for more, been cut some more.

He’s been hired by TV networks to provide soft features and so forth.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/armour-another-tim-tebow-try-that-is-certain-to-fail/ar-AAbp6jZ

And oh yes, he’s also demonstrated his religious faith, which many Americans — me included — find appealing.

Therein might be the reason — his devout faith — for the continuing interest in a young man who probably never will become a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed him to a one-year contract. He’s the No. 4 QB in the Eagles’ depth chart.

Will he succeed, ever? Likely not, according to USA Today: “The sad truth is that success in college is rarely a guarantee of success in the pros — quite the opposite in many cases. With the exception of Cam Newton, quarterbacks who won the Heisman have generally been a bust in the NFL.”

Tebow’s vocal fan base will keep the interest high as this young man keeps trying to find a place on some team’s roster. But as the essay attached to this post notes, the interest in Tebow has more to do with his faith than it does in football.

Thus, as today’s media culture will allow it, the drama will continue to play out.